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Search words: tara

The Tide Turns at tara

category national | rights, freedoms and repression | news report author Monday January 28, 2008 17:38author by Rob Henderson - Independant Working Artist Report this post to the editors

Stronger than bedrock, spring in the air and momentum on the rise

Feel free to copy and circulate this appeal, stick it to notice boards, windows, newspapers, post it on Internet sites ask a personal friend or family member to give you the time it takes to read it.

I'm sitting in the roundhouse at the camp in Rath Lugh. There are sausages in the pan and tea, sugary tea, in never emptying pots and kettles. I've been drying my socks and boots, the legs of my trousers and my damp feet by a scorching stove. This morning a branch broke by a stream to leave me up to my knees in yesterday's rain. The sun is shining again but the breeze is strong and cold outside. Hearts are warm in the piping shelter – stronger than bedrock.

In amongst the dozen or more friends present as I write are stories and songs, old and new. People are passing each other's knowledge around and asking questions. 'What was found over there?', 'When does it come from?', 'Do you take milk?'. We had set out early this morning to visit the site of an ancient Wooden Henge uncovered during the road works. Our plan was to light a small fire and cook breakfast nearby, and should anyone in uniform wish to approach us demanding answers then we planned to be equipped with full bellies and genuine smiles to greet them. However, on our arrival, work, which had ceased for a period on this site, recently, had resumed with guards and kilometres, hundreds of kilometres, of expensive fencing to forbid our entry. I crouched under a Hawthorn tree and watched for an hour as friends of mine crossed the line to seek answers of their own. We returned to the camp to regroup and eat having dispersed along different routes of appeal in light of such vigorous disregard for common sense.

Right now an old man is telling a story about chests of gold and St. Patrick, of drinking concoctions and magic tricks. In his own words, 'It's a long auld story.' He's claimed everyone's attention in an instant and the room has fallen silent. Spirits are high. An article is being passed around from a recent local newspaper. Someone had written in claiming the campaign to Save tara and the Gabhra Valley from the M3 motorway was all but finished. From where I sit it's all just beginning. Though numbers are few at present (somewhere, as an optimistic estimate, between 20 and 30 people), that number is strengthening, steadily increasing, and a positive attitude reigns. At the Vigil camp I hear talk of proposed plans for when the TV cameras of TG4 arrive next week. One suggestion made previously, and a pleasant coincidence, is that the camp at Rath Lugh be designated Gaeltacht status and already people of different nationalities have begun to learn and speak basic Irish. There is a magnificent atmosphere all around, but the severity of what is happening with every passing hour is lost on no one.

I have not yet been asked to cast any vote relating to plans for the M3 motorway through tara. I harbour a belief that the vast majority of the people of Ireland have been disillusioned over the past few years by nonsense, ignorance and confusion surrounding such developments in the name of progress - the corruption clouding the Carrickmines works, the cost of such special beauty in the Glen of the Downs - but had the people on the electorate been considered I sincerely believe this time it would not be happening. Right now it is the very people who feel most powerless that we need so desperately. True progress is being made here at tara, and you can feel it in our camps, there is a wind of change in the air, but that wind will sweep away our rights and take our ability for self-determination if we do nothing continuously. As strong as we are - and I am a very recent participant, and can only admire and respect the conviction of those that have been on site here for years - it is neither I nor the people around me who will ultimately halt this abomination of assumption on the part of our leaders. It is the people who would normally do nothing that we need most now. Maybe call this strike-three and mark where the aim is, attacking the very heart of our heritage. The M3 motorway will be no little Bóthairín. A motorway is no mark of respect; it is a functional expanse of barren wasteland serving soul-guzzling machinery. And no one asked me.

That for me is the essence of the appeal I am making, and the core of my argument. There is little or no forum provided to publicly debate a diversity of solutions on this issue, at least not in the everyday real world of the common person, widespread opinion has not been sought. No one asked me, and no one asked you. I have spoken of it with others, long and short, as much as I can with out wearing out my own moral fibre or the issue at hand. Just about everyone, from all walks of life, who I communicate with directly on a daily basis, and I'm not shy nor limited in friends and acquaintances (and neither am I afraid of making new ones), almost everybody, is against this proposed motorway. Public opinion is on our side. Though it is being built, and rapidly, it has not yet been realised, the M3 motorway is NOT yet built. I don't read papers for my statistics, I base what I say on real life and real people, and I think we're all on the same side here. Forget about the incompetence of politicians, this decision can be reversed, but this time we need to do it ourselves. Our wise leaders have failed us absolutely. Our country has barely known a taste of freedom yet already we are actively complicit in the destruction of the one central, world-renowned and undiluted symbol of our unity and strength. Where are the Fianna buried? This place is special; you can almost pick strands of music from the floor. Stories, poems, music and song draw all who visit here into a desire to reconnect with our history and fading culture, the place is alive. Families are welcome in our camps, old and young, people of all different backgrounds. Sometimes it's a bit rough and ready, but we're not claiming to be angelic, we merely claim an open space. This is the womb of our culture, a magical place with so much to speak of I have to refrain from never finishing. Come and see.

Should you come to visit do not feel obliged to suffer a sentence. You are welcome for a cup of tea, a session, maybe, until night, or longer if you wish. But please come NOW, before it goes further. If you cannot or do not wish to come then please encourage others around you. Talk about it, find out about it, use the Internet, or the Library, and use your initiative. Send your opinion out there. Write to a specific person, be your letter long or short, full of facts or feelings, write in ink or text, newsprint or radio waves. Do Something. Laugh at me in my romantic naivety, but do something. Send us your prayers. Bypass and ignore the politicians they have failed us absolutely, we can only now make our appeals directly to the people on the ground. And keep positive about it, you don't need to let it all get you down. Any person is capable of refusing to accept a detrimental decision with a big beaming smile, and without raising anger, voice or blood pressure. Find out and make your mind up one way or the other, but please do something. If you can come in person then please do not delay, all help is warmly received and greatly appreciated, there is little anger here despite it all.

The work being done is done in haste and is highly destructive, lacking in all care or respect. This is not the workers fault, they are being manipulated and exploited by highly questionable political motives further up a chain of command, and I for one certainly do understand the stressful conditions under which they work. The powers that be would have this desecration realised as soon as possible, to leave you and I with no choice but to roll over and take it. Not only is our heritage being raped, we are being robbed of our democratic right to choose. One short, European kilometre from the summit of tara work is underway to develop a 52-acre, floodlit intersection. Why not an interpretive centre instead? Work being done need not be wasted but it must be stopped. This place has been celebrated for thousands upon thousands of years and now we have no time to think. There ARE alternatives. Make one telephone call. Call your next-door neighbour, call your mum, call me. Come visit me. I'll sing a song for you, with you, I'll even shut up if you come and ask me to. You need not do much but please do something. Highly significant and unique finds that could rock the world's assumptions about ancient human culture and prehistoric Gaels are being denied public attention to speed the removal of your opinion. No one asked me, but I have a right, sometimes a duty, to answer anyway. There are not many sites like this on planet Earth and the international community stands opposed to its destruction.

As I tap that last full stop, laughter erupts all around me. Someone told a joke. There is a magician here with a mesmerizing sleight of hand. I'm now hearing talk of an extension to some existing preservation orders on some of the sites. Things have changed since I visited last. I was here for less than a week last time, just before Christmas, and merely 2 days of my current visit have passed - yet progress has been made. We are winning. The workers don't need this hassle, and I'm positive the vast majority would rather do something else, they are just doing their jobs, but common sense is winning, and you can see it in their eyes. It is this very moment, as you read, that is critical, and we need help. We need something, anything, from those who would normally do nothing. I have so much more to tell since my recent arrival, so much I cannot begin to explain for fear of not wanting to finish, and I've other things to do, and I'm hungry, and dinner's cooked, besides I've already taken too much of your time. Come see for yourself if you can.

Spirits are high, but we need all the help we can get, please . . .

Our strength is our diversity.

Thanks for your time.

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author by paul o toolepublication date Tue Jan 29, 2008 12:07author email pauljotoole at eircom dot netauthor address author phone Report this post to the editors

I visit as often as i can and bring people with me whenever i can and donate what i can, which is all to little given my personal circumstances but this is the most interesting, uplifting read ive read on indy or anywhere for that matter about the fate of the home of our shared ancestoral past. The disgrace of ALL our over paid T.D's is matched by the determined willingness of only a handful of selfless, unpaid people, more aware than any elected body of shortsighted, greedy parasitic politicians in this historically forsaken Island.
I hope the ghosts of the past reward them by haunting their dreams for eternity for their savage insatiable short lived greed. Thank you all........Paul

author by TaraTaraTarapublication date Tue Jan 29, 2008 14:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tar on Tara
Tara Warriors need Urgently
Emergency Call for Action at Soldier's Hill. Workers attempting to lay tarmac. Please come to Tara , help needed NOW.
Spread the word.


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author by Pixiebloodpublication date Tue Jan 29, 2008 14:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Am on the way.

author by Terrypublication date Wed Jan 30, 2008 13:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Well spoken Rob.
The closest we can get to a referendum is a national survey. We did one in 2005 and 2 out of 3 said NO to the road through the Valley. The market research company guarantee their results are equivalent (+ or - 3%) to a referendum return
We're now offering them a Park instead (which was also mentioned in the 2005 survey). Results will be announced at Imbolc. There's another iron in the fire as you've no doubt heard. You're absolutlely right. This campaing is far from over. I'll leave you with some words penned in November:

A rainbow in the eastern sky against a disturbed grey/blue sea
The north easter howling
Dark foreboding clouds
Carrying heavy showers
Of torrential rain
But blue sky in between
And plenty of it
The promise of better days ahead.

And a rainbow arcing from the Hill of Tara
To Lissmullen
And Rath Lugh

People planting meadowmix
And herbs
And saplings
In the scar
Left by the machinery

The pot of Gold
The nucleus
Of the Park


Power to the People
Power to the People

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author by Carmel Ni Dhuibheanaighpublication date Wed Jan 30, 2008 19:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Lovely articles. I met the author of the above initial report at the weekend when I went to update my photographs of the destruction at Tara and despite the horror they see on a daily basis right before their eyes I can honestly say that the spirit at the camps is strong, probably more than ever before. What an amazing bunch of people , Irish, English, American, Polish, diverse and united. Stronger than bedrock indeed. And numbers are growing .


author by Norapublication date Wed Jan 30, 2008 19:49author email noorazao at hotmail dot comauthor address Malaysiaauthor phone 00-60125394924Report this post to the editors

During my stay in Ireland; I couldn't believe that I would find such mystical, artistic and ancient culture still living and breathing in a western civilization. Such culture that includes the Gaelic language and Irish rural way of life blends in so harmoniously and so spiritually with its glorious natural environment that are indeed priceless treasures. I've been denounced as being too romantic and nostalgic but what's wrong with that? Not every modernity values are positive and if I can find such solace and spiritual enlightenment in such traditional heritage; so be it. Just as I find such spiritual and silent happiness in Bali; of which some Balinese are trying hard to preserve their similarly ancient, artistic and mystical culture in the same way as the Irish. For example in Ubud, where the royal families (although I'm anti-monarchy) are trying to prevent modernity values such as discos, rowdy pubs, monstrous-looking buildings and so on trampling upon the area. Such preservation efforts also include providing free lessons of very ancient Balinese dancing and gamelan lesson to the people at their palace in order to preserve the culture.

Thus, please go on saving the great physical and spiritual beauty, silence and mystique of Tara; as of other ancient and unique socio-cultural and environmental Celtic heritage.

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